academia barilla  April 2008
   

Recipe of the Month: Crispy Lasagne with Asparagus, Sautè of Prawns and Vespaiolo

After a brief consultation with the Chef Team at the Academia Barilla [...]

After a brief consultation with the Chef Team at the Academia Barilla Culinary School, there were no more doubts about it: our ingredient of the month for the month of April is the Asparagus.

Academia Barilla: the ingredient of the month As reported by the Wikipedia, Asparagus has been used from very early times as a vegetable and medicine, mostly for its delicate flavor and diuretic properties.

There is a recipe for cooking asparagus in the oldest surviving book of recipes, Apicius’s 3rd century AD “De Re Coquinaria, Book III”. Asparagus was cultivated by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans, who ate it fresh when in season and dried the vegetable for use in winter.

Asparaguses lost their popularity in the Middle Ages but returned in the European culinary tradition in the seventeenth century.

Today we invite you to try a gourmet recipe with our ingredient of the month. We found a great recipe at BIGAB, the Academia Barilla Gastronomic Library, in a cookbook titled “L’Asparago bianco di Bassano – Le ricette dei ristoranti Bassanesi” (Bassano’s White Asparagus – recipes from Bassano’s Restaurants). The image below is taken from the same cookbook edited by Terra Ferma, and the picture of the final dish is by Cristiano Bulegato.

The recipe we propose today involves the use of Pasta Brisé or pasta sfoglia salata, something similar to Southern piecrusts. Pasta Brisé is widely used in both Italy and France for food presentation and balance of savory food, and is not used with sweets. Pasta Brisé makes also a great base for miniature pies as appetizers, to cover and encompass finger foods, to wrap cuts of veal and seal in the juices and to make self contained casseroles.

Ready? Let’s go to the kitchen!

Academia Barilla recipes: Crispy Lasagne with Asparagus

CRISPY LASAGNE WITH ASPARAGUS, SAUTE OF PRAWNS AND VESPAIOLO

(serves 5)

INGREDIENTS

- 12 oz Pasta Brisé
- 1.8 oz of Asparagus
- 15 prawns
- 1/2 green onion
- 1 garlic clove
- 5 tablespoon besciamella, white sauce
- 1 small glass of Brandy
- 1/2 glass of Vespaiolo wine
- 2 tablespoon of parsley
- 1 ripe tomato
- 2 sprigs of chives
- 3 sprigs of thyme
- Academia Barilla Riviera Ligure D.O.P. Extra Virgin Olive Oil, to taste
- salt and pepper, to taste

FOR THE BESCIAMELLA SAUCE

- 3 3/4 cups, whole milk
- 1 stick, butter
- 1/2 cu, all-purpose flour
- 1/2 teaspoon, grated nutmeg
- salt, to taste

BESCIAMELLA PREPARATION

Heat the milk in a pan until almost boiling. Separately, in a medium saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add flour all in once, stirring until smooth.

Cook gently over medium heat until light golden brown, 6-7 minutes. Add milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until no lumps left.

Bring to a boil and let it cook for a couple of minutes, continuing to stir, until a smooth sauce is obtained.

Remove from the heat and season with salt and grated nutmeg.

In order to have a more liquid or thicker sauce, reduce or increase of 1 tablespoon the quantity of flour.

MAIN DISH PREPARATION

Prepare a thin layer of Pasta Brisé and cut it to shape 12 round pieces of about 2 inc hes of diameter and cook them in the oven for 7-8 minutes at 350° F.

In a separate saucepan with two tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil, brown the garlic clove then sauté the prawns for few minutes, flame with brandy and eventually add the Vespaiolo wine. Eventually, add the minced parsley, salt and pepper to taste.

In a casserole with extra virgin olive oil, brown the green onion finely minced, add the asparagus, previously washed and cut in small pieces, season with salt and pepper and let cook.

When done, add the prawns and at last, the previously prepared, besciamella sauce.

On the serving plate, place a piece of Pasta Brisé, pour over a spoon of asparagus and prawns, then add a second piece of Pasta Brisé and two prawns on the very top.

Decorate the plate with some fresh cubed tomatoes, two sprig of chives and thyme.

The dish is now ready to be served! Buon Appetito from Academia Barilla and Italian Food Lovers!

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